Having had a couple of days enjoying the pleasure that is Central Heating and one of the [many] perks of the full time job of SAH Motherhood, i.e not having to leave the house to start work in the ice and snow, I have been thinking about all the things I have done, that I perhaps I didn't think I ever would or could. That is instead of thinking about all the things that I wanted to be out and about doing but couldn't because in the new abode I was kind of snowed in.
I have the worst sense of direction for example, therefore I hate driving anywhere I do not know the route too and if I do, I generally try and get someone else to drive, or at least someone else to come with me to navigate. A good friend of mine was getting married in the Lake District a few years back and I had looked forward to going to the wedding for months, despite the fear that I had to drive because I had a friend attending with me. Two days before the wedding, the friend announced that they 'could not afford' to attend. Dilemma. I had to get to the Lake District. I had to drive. The wedding was on a Friday so I knew it was going to be almost impossible to find any other friends that would be available, the choice was, get over my fear and drive it or not go.
With my bag already packed and a new Karen Millen dress hanging and longing to be worn on my door, I decided to put all my favourite songs onto some tapes (yes, my little Fiesta was the kind with a TAPE player!), stock the car with snacks and drinks and blue tack my directions on to the dashboard. With my mum calling 'Make sure you have plenty of stops!' as I drove away, I set off on my adventure. I drove to the Lake District and back on my own and survived and for that I am still proud.
I learnt to snowboard. I ventured passed the green slopes and on to the blue and even survived accidentally heading off on a red. I went on two snowboarding holidays despite on my third lesson when learning in the UK breaking my wrist in two places and dislocating my thumb. I hate the cold and snow in general (would live in Florida if I could!) but managed to achieve something I didn't think I would ever do (note : snowboarding kit has now been sold but been there, done that).
I ran a Marathon. In 2005 I ran 26.2 miles of the good London soil of Blighty. When I initially took the challenge on I made all the right confident noises, writing lots of plans and reading lots of literature and setting up fundraisers, but I did wonder if I had the staying power to actually get my fitness levels up to run 26 miles. But I did it. I have the medal and my photos hanging proudly on the chimney breast upstairs in our home. This is one that still hasn't really ever sunk in that I achieved.
I sometimes forget that I am capable of achieving things that seem impossible. I have given birth to two children. When I was 18 my fear of pain meant I wouldn't even get my belly button pierced, but a bad break up a few years later, gave me the 'I'll do whatever I want' anger and I went took a deep breath and did it. This then made me realise that if I could do that then I could probably pluck up the courage and go and get the tattoo I had been yapping on about wanting for years and finally at 24 I went and did it (had another 4 since too...) and like I say, had two babies that really tested the pain barriers.
Sometimes I need to remind myself of these things because sometimes I think that I am not going to make it through the 'Toddlerhood' years with J2. So I have to remind myself that at 20 miles in that Marathon I didn't think I was going to be able to finish, with rain dripping off of my eyelashes and nose and in a dark tunnel in London I looked at my phone and thought, I need to be picked up. But I didn't (no signal put paid to that idea!) and I had to continue and I made it through out on to Embankment where cheering crowds carried my extremely tired and wet feet across the finish line on the Mall.
I have to remind myself that on that extremely long 'Red Run' when I had fallen over thirty times and I no longer had the energy push myself up off the snow that I had no option but to get up and get to the end for that much longed for Apres Ski.
They were all things that I didn't think I would be able to do, so I know that I will get through those days; days when I have to negotiate all day to avoid multiple meltdowns from an (almost) two year old, to deal with all the meltdowns that are not averted, to keep on top of the basic house keeping despite a child being attached to my leg. I know that in the bigger picture this phase is a very small one, and they grow up very fast (I still say 'My eldest is 8' in a shocked tone). But every now and then it is easy to get bogged down in the moment of screaming tantrums and wonder if I will make it through.
So in the event of seeing the bigger picture these are five things I would still really love to think that I will be able to do, once of course I have made it through to J2 going to school, cos I am sure at this point, if I can survive until then I can achieve anything...
1. Train for and run the Disney Marathon, New York Marathon and Boston Marathon
2. Become a published writer
3. Renovate a house to make it perfect for our families needs of being a family home and an accessible home for J1
4. Take J1 and J2 to Disney Florida and Niagara Falls Canada and to visit Sandy Holders Barbie Museum in California
5. To own a pair of Manolo Blanik shoes (o.k this is a little frivolous but hey!)